We’re one week away from Apple’s big October 30th event, and reliable supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities has some newsworthy predictions. Kuo summarizes previous predictions including his belief that AirPower is still debuting soon based on supply chain sources. The analyst also predicts Apple will indeed produce a new iPad mini…

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For Apple’s event next week, Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to unveil several hardware revisions:

  • Two new USB-C equipped iPad Pro updates with better displays
  • A “new-design” Apple Pencil for the updated iPad Pro hardware
  • At least three new Macs including a “low-price” MacBook and updated Mac mini and iMac processors

Read more about Kuo’s fall iPad and Mac lineup predictions from a previous research note.

iPad mini

As for the new developments, Kuo now expects Apple to make a new version of the iPad mini with “an upgraded processor and a lower-cost panel” that isn’t necessarily coming at next week’s event. That suggests we could see the fifth-generation iPad mini debut at Apple’s next spring event.

Apple has used the post-holiday quarter to introduce the $329 9.7-inch iPad updates over the last two years, so a revised 7.9-inch iPad mini with speed improvements and no major redesign would fit nicely for 2019.

Apple currently sells a single version of the iPad mini 4 in a pricey 128GB configuration from $399, but the hardware hasn’t been revised for Apple Pencil support or True Tone color temperature adjusting. The A8 processor also lags behind the more capable A10 chip on the cheaper $329 9.7-inch iPad.

Kuo doesn’t predict what price point the updated iPad mini could hit, but it doesn’t sound like a high-end pro version so Touch ID and the current design shouldn’t be going anywhere.

AirPower AirPods

Kuo also believes Apple’s special wireless charging mat, AirPower, could still launch this year as promised. The analyst flags “late 4Q18 or early 1Q19” as possible for “new AirPods and AirPower” in his latest research note.

Apple presented AirPower at its September 2017 keynote as a preview of hardware to come sometime in 2018, but the wireless charging mat that promises to power up to three devices including iPhone, Apple Watch, and an updated AirPods charging case has yet to receive a price or release date.


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